Britain’s up-and-coming Illamasqua launched in Selfridges, London in September 2008 and has since rolled out to a limited number of stores across the UK and online (click here to see their online store). And the company now ships to the US, so you guys can also get your hands on the goodies, yay!
The Illamasqua counter
Developed by professional makeup artists and produced by Kryolan, Illamasqua is fast becoming a MAC rival, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that their flagship concession is right next to MAC in Selfridges, London. Like MAC does, they pay special attention to professional MUAs, giving them a generous 40% discount.
Illamasqua Romance collection
I was so excited when I saw the visual promos for this brand. They’re really stunning and unique and unlike anything I’ve seen before — quirky, like the Carrie Bradshaw of the makeup world.
Illamasqua Sirens collection
Illamasqua’s tag line is “makeup for your alter ego,” and they break the brand down into four stories:
- 1920’s Berlin
- Fantasy and Romance
- Sirens (limited edition)
Weâ€™ve all got a hidden siren inside, havenâ€™t we, girls?
Illamasqua Fantasy collection
The brand has a slightly dark, naughty feel to it, and I would have so loved to have been in the meeting room when they came up with the names for the products (slut, moan, sadist anyone?!). Itâ€™s all about bringing out that sexy alter ego.
A few notes on the products
The eyeshadows, in particular, are unusual in that all but two or three of them are matte shades. I think it’s so nice to have a brand that has kept the colours striking while simultaneously keeping them simple and not overloading the shimmer.
The cream eyeshadows are also lovely, and Illamasqua also has a line of pure pigments with amazing colour payoff. The company is very generous with the eyeshadow pans, too, which are larger than MAC pans, and they offer the option to customise eyeshadow quads by choosing your own colours to go in each of the palette’s four pans.
Illamasqua 1920’s Berlin collection
Iâ€™m a bit of a Magpie when it comes to gorgeous packaging (hel-loooo, Chanel!), and I haven’t been disappointed by the beautiful but simple designs of Illamasqua’s products.
Sleek black compacts with a discreet Illamasqua logo, and the pigment containers are particularly novel in their design, which stops you tipping out too much (ever had your heart stop after accidentally knocking over a MAC pigment and seeing all that lovely stuff fall on the bathroom floor?).
Illamasqua 1920’s Berlin collection
If youâ€™re ever in London, get yourself down to Selfridges to check out their concession. You can even book a makeover (Â£30, redeemable against products), and the stand has laptops on each counter that MUAs can use to research looks for you. You can Google Dita Von Teese, or whatever floats your boat, and voila! Youâ€™ve got a picture on hand, and you also get a DVD of your makeover to take home with you. How cool is that!
Price-wise, I would say itâ€™s mid-range. Expect to pay around $21 for a single eyeshadow, $18.50 for a lipgloss and around $29.50 for a foundation, so slightly more than MAC, but not as much as Chanel.
I have to say — I really love this brand and think itâ€™s become my new favourite obsession.
This post was written by Rochelle, a freelance makeup artist from the UK. When she isn’t doing bridal makeup, creating special looks for as many as 100 brides a year (thatâ€™s a lot of makeup!), she enjoys spending time with her husband, Paul, and 5-year-old daughter, Emma, who is showing absolutely no interest in makeup.